Serena Williams relieved after reaching US Open quarter-finals

Serena Williams relieved after reaching US Open quarter-finals

The 23 Grand Slam victor was literally on fire against her sister, merciless in her blistering returns and making Venus look more like her apprentice.

Williams reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for a 10th consecutive appearance - she wasn't there a year ago because she gave birth to her daughter during the tournament - by picking her level up after a lull and using 18 aces to beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-0 4-6 6-3.

But eighth seed Pliskova, a former world number one and US Open finalist in 2016, presents a tough task for Williams.

Also in action on Sunday: Defending US Open champs Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal, both of whom also advanced. "In fact, she doesn't do a lot of things bad", she said.

"I was just living in this world where I thought it would just automatically come together", said Serena.

After registering an easy victory in the first set, a couple of errors in the second set gave Kanepi the chance to make a comeback. But it was a little bit of a different story in 2016.

And after getting to triple match point, she brought Kanepi to net and won with a passing shot.

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Soon after that, Williams went from trailing, 4-2, to not only taking the first set but also leading, 4-0, in the second. The players put on courageous faces, but it certainly seemed that the conditions ruined a potentially grand occasion.

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"I think society puts it out there that you'll just kind of snap back and that's just a myth". Williams hit 18 aces and 47 winners and showed even better conditioning and court movement than she displayed in her Wimbledon finals run.

"It wasn't that my level went down tremendously, it was literally one or two points which made a huge difference in that second set".

"It was a 'Serena scream.' I don't try to do it. That was the most important to improve was being fit and being able to play long matches". I love her with all my heart.

"Obviously her serve. She has a really good forehand". The unseeded Estonian had already made headlines in the first round of the tournament by upsetting top seed Simona Halep, the first player in U.S. Open history to upset the top seed in the first round. "She has had a great career", she added.

"I hope it's going to be on Ashe", said Sevastova.

That will be followed by a matchup between two big hitters: No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion at Flushing Meadows, and No. 11 John Isner, who will be trying to become the first USA man to get to the semifinals in NY since Andy Roddick in 2006.

The other quarterfinal on the top half of the draw will be defending champion Sloane Stephens of the US against No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in a rematch from the same round a year ago. But after squandering a 2-1 lead in sets, the 11th seed dominated the fifth set to beat 25th-seeded Milos Raonic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

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